Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where's My Fries?

"Father, forgive them, for they do no know what they are doing."
Luke 23:34a

Oh, how prepared I was for dinner tonight! I began prepping my sour dough starter for waffles in the early morning, since I was already up with my little buddy. My hubby had a meeting after work, followed by his Tuesday evening hike (he's training to summit Mt. Rainer for the second time!). Since I had so much extra time and one lonely banana turning leopard-esque, I thought I'd add him to the batter. Just as I was getting ready to add more flour and beat my egg whites, I got a text that my mighty mountain man was extra speedy and already on his way down the trail! Normally, that would mean I'd still have 30-45 minutes before he arrived, but today we were picking him up at the trail head! Knowing the munchkins were hungry, I grabbed a scant half-cup of rice flour, a little sugar and whole eggs into my batter, mixed it hurriedly and attempted to make fast pancakes. Did you know that adding banana to sourdough batter without well over a cup of additional flour creates flubber? Flustered, I turned off the stove, grabbed some breakfast cookies and rushed the kidlets out the door to get daddy.

As my family munched happily on cookies, I decided to drop our sweaty bread winner off at our house for a shower while mommy hit the drive-thru. Armed with a snazzy coupon book (I love it when restaurants remodel!), I ordered the healthiest items I could find, (smoothies, salads, sandwich wraps, etc. ) followed by a few "treats ."

Wyatt loves fries. I am blessed with two boys who still regard fries as junk food and split a small fry. Wyatt was such a sad little guy when he heard that most restaurants' fries had gluten in them (as was mommy)! :( They are more special to him now than ever (he went gluten-free just after Christmas); he talked about them the whole way home.

As I distributed our food among the starving masses, I reached for the fries at the bottom, only to find napkins. No fries! Daddy would be sad, but he still had burgers. Wyatt couldn't eat burgers with buns, chicken nuggets (or any chicken at all) or anything sandwich-like. His "treat" had been forgotten.

For any child, this would have been a bummer. For a child with my husband's DNA, it is a disaster. For a child carrying my husbands DNA and a diagnosis of autism, it could have been a catastrophe! Poor Wyatt had been promised waffles, then the plan had been changed to pancakes, then he was shuffled out the door with a cheese stick and a gluten-free cookie and now no fries. Talk about a change in routine!

I was rather surprised by how well he took the news. There were a few tears, but he asked if he could have some yogurt. Naturally, I said yes! I told him I'd tweak the pancakes while he slurped his portable yogurt (a godsend for children with sensory issues who fear jiggly food that might spill or make a mess!), and hopped into the kitchen to do so. Fortunately, with a little more flour, the pancakes were yummy. :) Wyatt sat gleefully munching on a pancake roll up with strawberry jam, not caring much at all about his fries. While he breathed the sigh of a little boy with a contented tummy (for 30 minutes, anyway!), I breathed a sigh of relief.

About an hour later, he looked up at me with puzzled eyes and said, "They forgot my fries, mom." I told him there was a very long line and they didn't mean to, but next time I went I would tell them (nicely). That was all he needed to hear, not another word about the renegade fries were uttered after that.

I know that God has a wonderful plan for my life. I know He loves me, I know He cares about me, I know He listens. There are times when people hurt or disappoint me and I know they don't mean to. When they've done something deliberate, I know what to do. There are even times when I can do it in a semi-controlled manner (we won't talk about the other times, other than to say that I'm a great deal taller from standing on several soap boxes). But where do you put the hurt from people who don't know better? Where do you stash those well-meaning comments that prick your heart? Where do you place the disappointments that come from people who are loving you the best way they know how?

There is only one place to learn how to heal from all that baggage: at the feet of Jesus. From the time He was a child teaching in the temple, He was misunderstood by His family. While going through the greatest anguish of his life, His closest friends fell asleep. He was betrayed, denied and abandoned by those who loved him. When we look to His example, we see this response in Luke 23:34: "Father, forgive them, for they do no know what they are doing."

When you're just not sure how to even put into words what happened, you can always crawl into the lap of your Heavenly Daddy and just tell Him that you're hurting. When someone forgets Wyatt's fries, all I can offer is a hug and a pancake. When someone forgets to be careful with your heart, God has the ability and desire to heal it. It wasn't easy for Wyatt to release his plans for dinner, but releasing our broken dreams and unfulfilled promises are much harder. If we let go of our need to protect ourselves from everyone-- including God, He can fill the painful voids inside us, mend our wounds and help us to love once more.

The world may forget your fries, slap you with back-handed complements and ignore you, dear friends, but they know not what they do. God, on the other hand, always remembers, treasures and tirelessly cares for you-- even when you forget Him. All this and no drive thru line-- what a God we serve! :)

In Lenten Love and Friendship,

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